Tuesday, August 11, 2015

From Ian:

Wistrich takes aim at ‘anti-Zionist mythology’ of left in posthumous essay
In his final essay, Wistrich went on the attack against what he saw as one of the most pernicious dogmas of Israel’s critics, firmly rejecting any comparisons between the Jewish state and European colonialist regimes.
“Jews who arrived in British Mandated Palestine manifestly did not come in order to destroy or displace the Palestinian Arab ‘nation’—contrary to the myth propagated by the pro-Palestine radical left, until today,” he wrote, asserting that economic modernization spurred by Jewish national revival turned Palestine into a land “attracting substantial Arab immigration.”
According to Wistrich, there were around six hundred thousand Arabs in the entire British Mandated Territory in the early 1920s, rising to well over a million by 1940, “hardly an example of colonial dispossession of the ‘indigenous’ population.”
Most Palestinian Arabs during the Mandatory period were “either immigrants from neighboring Arab lands or descendants of immigrants who had arrived since the late nineteenth century,” he added.
“Not only were they not Palestinian ‘natives,’ but at the time of the Balfour Declaration there was no clear or distinct concept of a Palestinian Arab nation. The left-wing narrative, especially since 1967, has consistently sidelined such inconvenient realities, replacing them with ideological fictions,” he asserted.
Wistrich wrote that he believed Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War to be a turning point for much of the liberal and democratic left in their approach to Israel, with the state’s image turning into that of an occupier which “began to erode an unwritten taboo against open antisemitism since the Shoah.”
“A much harsher anti-Israel rhetoric” emerged both on the right and the left, including “an increasingly aggressive and vituperative anti-Zionism” on the part of radical “progressives.”
WSJ Book Review Takes on "Holocaust Syndrome"
Author and former AP reporter and editor Matti Friedman has previously, like CAMERA, drawn attention to the inaccuracies in media coverage of Israel. Now, in a sharp and funny book review in The Wall Street Journal, Friedman turns his gaze to “non-fiction” inaccuracies. In a review of Padraig O’Malley’s “The Two-State Delusion,” Friedman points out:
More work should have gone into ensuring accuracy. The author asserts, for example, that Israel’s military victory in 1967 resulted from “massive U.S. assistance,” when there wasn’t massive U.S. military assistance before 1967. (France was then the main arms supplier; the planes that won the war were Mirages and Mystères.) We learn that Ariel Sharon was an agriculture minister in 1971 and that this has something to do with the genesis of the settlements; he wasn’t, and it doesn’t. The author describes Israeli soldiers carrying their Uzis “nonchalantly,” which is a nice touch. But no Israeli soldiers carry the Uzi, which was deemed obsolete after the 1973 war and removed from frontline service after that. The word “homeland” is quoted pointedly from the Balfour Declaration of 1917, where that word doesn’t appear. Would it have been too much trouble to check the text? It’s a single sentence.
The sub-headline of the review is “The idea that a collective memory of the Holocaust renders Jewish judgment defective is somehow acceptable these days,” a point Friedman illuminates with this passage:
The “bonding, primal element” of the Jewish psyche, we learn, is the Holocaust. Israelis are in thrall to weapons because of the Holocaust; they are obtuse to the suffering of others because of the Holocaust; and in general they are sort of crazy because of the Holocaust. Actually, half of the Jewish population in Israel has roots in the Islamic world. Their families were displaced by Muslims, not Nazis. Israelis think many of their neighbors are out to destroy Israel not because of the Holocaust, but because many of their neighbors say they are out to destroy Israel. Israel’s actions in the Middle East, in other words, have to do with its experience in the Middle East. The country’s objective success against long odds would have to indicate that at least some of its decisions have been reality-based, if not quite reasonable.
The idea that a collective memory renders Jewish judgment defective seems to be something acceptable to say aloud these days in connection with Israel, which is why I’ve dwelled on it. It’s important to point out not only that this observation is wrong, but that it is a patronizing ethnic smear. I don’t like the careless generalizations in Mr. O’Malley’s book or his shaky grasp of the facts. But I don’t think they have anything to do with the potato famine.

The entire review, unlike the book apparently, is worth reading.
PROOF: EU is funding anti-Israel organizations, violating international law
Israel and the EU established diplomatic relations in 1959. TheRebel.media recently sat down with the Ambassador of the EU to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, to discuss this complicated relationship.
Because Israel is a democracy, the EU is far more critical of them than of other Middle Eastern countries.
This double standard extends to EU NGOs pushing anti-Israel "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" campaigns, even though the Ambassador insists that the EU is against BDS.
According to Israeli officials, the EU is acting illegally (and violating its own signed agreements) by funding unauthorized Palestinian buildings in areas placed under Israel control by international law, including the West Bank.
Investigative journalist Ben-Dror Yemini says "Israel should tell the EU, 'enough.'"
He says that the EU's official statements about Israel often contradict their real world actions.
Igal Hecht presents a number of examples of this.
EU violating international law in relations with Israel

NYT's: U.S. Requests Lower Bond for Palestinian Appeal of Terror Case
The Obama administration, citing the potential for economic and political harm to the Palestinian Authority and the broader peace process, asked a judge on Monday to “carefully consider” the size of the bond he requires for the authority to appeal a huge damages award for its role in six terrorist attacks in Israel that killed and injured Americans.
The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization were found liable in the attacks after a lengthy civil trial in Manhattan that ended in February. The antiterrorism law under which the case was brought provided for the tripling of the jury’s award of $218.5 million, leading to a total of $655.5 million.
The plaintiffs included 10 families, comprising about three dozen members, eight of whom suffered physical injuries in the attacks, which occurred from 2002 to 2004.
Defense lawyers had argued that the Palestinian Authority could not afford to post the appeal bond, which they said was typically 111 percent of the judgment, and asked that the judge waive the bond requirement altogether.The plaintiffs sharply opposed the request, and late Monday night the administration took the unusual step of filing a formal “Statement of Interest of the United States of America” with the judge, George B. Daniels of Federal District Court, with the government’s view on the matter.
“The United States strongly supports the rights of victims of terrorism to vindicate their interests in federal court and to receive just compensation for their injuries,” the Justice Department said in the document.
The filing also included a declaration by Antony J. Blinken, the deputy secretary of state, elaborating on the government’s concerns about the impact of requiring a high bond. Depriving the Palestinian Authority of “a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the P.A.’s ability to operate as a governmental authority,” he wrote.
“A P.A. insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he added.
The declaration also included a strong endorsement of the rights of terror victims to seek and receive “just compensation” from terrorists and sponsors of terrorism, and said the government was not taking a position on the merits of the case, only the impact of the bond.
The case has been a source of tremendous friction between the State Department and the Justice Department, according to federal officials involved in the discussions.
The sentimental side of the savages
This past Sunday, we commemorated the anniversary of a massive explosion that ripped through a pizzeria crowded with children in the center of Israel’s capital city. It was a catastrophe that upended lives, futures and attitudes and — in relatively small measure — influenced public policies, at least for a time.
My wife and I are the parents of one of the children murdered there that day. In fact, a majority of the 15 lives lost in the attack by an Islamist terrorist gang on Sbarro in Jerusalem were children. (A 16th victim, a mother whose child was then two years old, remains in a vegetative state to this day.)
August 9, as it has been for the past fourteen years, was a time for writing and tweeting and receiving back messages of strength and support from the people in our lives who care for our well-being. But if we take a brief look at the Arab world — parts of it, at any rate — yesterday was a day of memories for them too.
But of a very different kind, as we found by googling today:
This Facebook account celebrates the anniversary because of the 19 “Zionists” killed at Sbarro Jerusalem. That most of them were children goes unmentioned, perhaps because of the sheer transcendental joy of the celebration. And if they overstate the death toll by 4, so what? The human bomb is offered hearty congratulations on his fine achievement. The page has gotten 190 Likes and 13 Shares between the time it was launched on Sunday morning and 5:00 pm today, Monday, Jerusalem time.
PMW: PA dedicates another square to murderer
The Palestinian Authority has dedicated another city square to the memory of a terrorist murderer responsible for the deaths of civilians. The memorial in Nablus shown above is named after terrorist Naif Abu Sharakh who was involved in many terror attacks against Israelis, including a double ‎suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on Jan. 5, 2003 in which 23 people were killed and dozens injured. He was Nablus’ commander of Fatah’s military ‎wing, the terror organization Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and was killed by the Israeli army on June 26, 2004.‎
Text on the monument:
"Martyr leader, Naif Abu Sharakh, commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ ‎Brigades, leader of the Martyrdom-seekers"‎
Fatah-run Awdah TV recently broadcast a program honoring the murderer and showing the memorial.
The Fatah TV host visited the mother of the terrorist and introduced her as follows:
“Mother of Martyr Naif Abu Sharakh gave both her sons for the land ‎and the homeland. Let's meet her. We are very happy to meet you and very proud of you. A ‎Palestinian mother such as yourself, whom we are proud of, you have given two of your sons for ‎the homeland.”‎ [Fatah-run Awdah TV, July 17, 2015]
The monument is shaped as a map of "Palestine" that includes all of Israel.
Terrorist honored with monument in his name and televised visit to his mother's home

Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi goes on BBC and accuses Israel of murdering kids
Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi was invited on BBC’s Dateline London program on Aug. 8th to discuss Jewish extremism in Israel in the context of the recent murder of an eight month-old Palestinian boy and his father in the Palestinian town of Duma.
Here’s what Shabi said when asked by BBC presenter Gavin Esler to contextualize the Israeli government’s response to the killing. (Pay particularly close attention beginning at the 20 second mark)
Of course, so-called ‘price-tag attacks’ in this context refers to attacks (against property or persons) by Jewish extremists intended to exact a price for Israeli policies believed to be detrimental to the settlement enterprise. Shabi is in effect saying that the death of hundreds of children in Gaza during last summer’s war with the terror group Hamas represented a willful Israeli policy of targeting Palestinian children as a similar act of vengeance or retribution. Her narrative, which went unchallenged by the BBC presenter, is consistent with the odious charge, typically found within Islamist and radical left circles, that Jews intentionally murder innocent kids.
This is the kind of ugly smear that the late Robert S. Wistrich has characterized as a modern secular blood libel, and both Ms. Shabi and Mr. Esler should be ashamed of themselves for legitimizing such a historically toxic calumny.

Help UNRWA Schools Get Funding: Remove UNRWA War Education
UNRWA reports that its $1.2 billion budget, funded by 62 nations, cannot come up with the necessary $101 million to launch the new school year for 492,000 students who study in 699 UNRWA schools in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza.
Since the theme of UNRWA education is: “Peace Starts Here” – UNRWA could show leading donor nations, such as the US, which contributed $400 million to UNRWA last year, that it will remove school books from UNRWA classrooms that do not promote peace, and actually do just the opposite, in five categories:
1. De-legitimization of Jewish presence in the land of Israel, both past and present.
2. Promoting the canard that the Palestinians are direct descendants of the “Arab” Canaanites and Jebusites (Christian IEducation, Grade 2, 2010, p. 11; Our Beautiful Language, Grade 6, Part 2, 2012, p. 9; National Education, Grade 5, 2013, p. 30), an anthropological impossibility.
3. Asserting that Jews have “greedy ambitions” [atmaa’] in the country (National Education, Grade 7, 2013, p. 20).
4. Presenting all Jewish holy places (the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem) as Muslim holy places threatened by Jewish usurpation (National Education, Grade 7, 2013, pp. 21, 55).
5. Israel’s 6 million Jews are not counted among the country’s inhabitants, while Israel’s Arab population and the Palestinians of the Diaspora are (National Education, Grade 6, 2013, p. 10).
Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Issue
Since 1948, both the Palestine Arab refugee problem and the United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Arab Refugees (UNRWA) have been studied comprehensively.
Almost since its inception, UNRWA, the international agency charged with aiding the refugees, has worked against their resettlement in Arab countries where Palestinians are located. One way UNRWA has done this has been by shifting its mission from refugee relief to education, devising its own expanded definitions of who is a refugee, and expanding its legal mandates to "protect" and represent refugees.
As a result, the Palestinian clients of UNRWA have gradually taken over the organization and have undermined an international relief effort, created in naïve good faith, but with the complicity of the UN General Assembly.
In his book "Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Issue," Jacob Tovy, a research fellow at the Herzl Institute at Haifa University, tackles the origins of Israel's policy towards the refugees from 1948 to 1956 and brings to light many of the Israeli sources regarding this topic showing the decision-making process that has gone into Israel's policies towards the Arabs of Palestine.
One of the interesting parts of Tovy's book is his treatment of Israel reaction to the Economic Survey Mission (ESM) in the winter of 1949. The ESM's mission was to assess what could be done regarding the refugees. It was anticipated that this US-led regional development program would help raise the overall economic level of the region and thereby facilitate resettlement of Palestine Arab refugees, something the author shows the Israelis favored.
One Year Later, Hamas Finally Admits It Lost the Gaza War
Last summer’s war in Gaza ended with most Palestinians gleefully proclaiming a smashing victory and most Israelis disgruntled at how little the war achieved. Just shy of one year later, however, a truer picture has emerged: Hamas, at least, is under no illusions about who won and who lost. In fact, according to two separate reports last week, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas’s full name) recently admitted that it can’t afford another bout of “resistance” like that anytime soon.
The London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat quoted sources in Gaza as saying another war is inconceivable unless Hamas acquires anti-aircraft missiles. And while the sources neglected to say so, that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon thanks to Egypt’s crackdown on arms smuggling from Sinai into Gaza.
The sources attributed this decision to what they described as massive civilian casualties caused by Israel’s aerial bombings. Hamas, they declared, was surprised by Israel’s willingness to target members of its military wing even when they were hiding among civilians. But that’s a disingenuous explanation even if you buy Hamas’s claim of massive civilian casualties (which I don’t), because according to Hamas itself, those casualties began on the war’s very first day. Thus, had this really been its concern, it wouldn’t have rejected or violated no fewer than 11 cease-fires before finally accepting an unconditional truce on day 50. And its claim to have reached this realization only in the war’s final days could be credible only if its claim of massive civilian casualties during all the preceding weeks was false.
Consequently, I suspect the explanation senior Hamas officials gave Haaretz is more accurate. They, too, said Hamas didn’t intend to start another war unless it found a way to neutralize Israel’s aerial superiority. But they also cited the fact that the war ended up achieving nothing.
Throughout the fighting, Hamas promised its people that even though they were suffering, it would be worth it: The international community would rebuild their homes and grant massive development aid; Gaza’s borders with both Israel and Egypt would be opened wide; Gaza would get an airport and seaport. But in reality, none of this has happened.
Gang of Muslim Men Harass U.S. Congressmen in Israel
A delegation of U.S. congressmen in Israel was harassed by a large group of Muslim men during a visit to the historically significant Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Tuesday, according to a Jerusalem Post report.
Reps. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), Keith Rothfus (R., Penn.), and Evan Jenkins (R., W.Va.), who was also joined by his wife, were approached by several Muslim men when they ascended the Temple Mount.
The men were “surprisingly intolerant and belligerent,” according to Rothfus.
Police had to break up multiple outbursts, one which was caused by outrage that Jenkins’ wife, who was wearing a long sleeve shirt and calf-length skirt, needed to cover up more.
The delegation said the harassment began when they ascended the Mount, and Mrs. Jenkins, who was wearing a calf-length skirt and a long-sleeved shirt was yelled at that she needed to cover up more, and police were needed to break up the melee and clear the way for the group to continue the visit.
The delegation’s guide then began to speak about the history of the site, which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, but is controlled by Jordan and the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. When the guide showed the group a map of Israel, a man who was cleaning nearby notified another man in the area, who asked the guide questions about the maps and diagrams, demanding to be shown if any of them feature the Temple, and told him he cannot use the term “Temple Mount,” only “Dome of the Rock,” as can be seen in a video the group provided to The Jerusalem Post.
Palestinian woman arrested on Temple Mount for biting female police officer
A 51-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly biting a female police officer during a riot on the Temple Mount, while another youth was detained for throwing eggs at police.
According to police spokeswoman Luba Samri, dozens of masked Palestinian youths threw rocks, eggs and bottles at police when visiting hours for non-Muslims commenced on the compound at around 8 a.m.
While police attempted to disperse the mob, one suspect was placed under arrest for biting an officer, and a 13-year-old boy was detained for throwing eggs.
Visiting hours resumed as soon as the riot was dispersed without incident, Samri said.
PA TV: Tower of David Museum is "a Judaizing museum" that tells of "the alleged Temple"

Palestinians were in Jerusalem “centuries before the Jewish religion” ‎ - PA Deputy Minister

Israel Devising Hi-Tech Responses to Terrorists’ Advanced Explosive Devices
The problem became most acute during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, when the terrorists managed to hit IDF troops several times, most notably with the bombing of a Golani Brigade’s armored personnel carrier in front of the Shuja’iya neighborhood, east of central Gaza.
That and similar terrorist successes during the last Gaza war, were behind the IDF’s decision to step up engagement in finding a technological solution to the challenge of providing better protection to armored vehicles, especially for the thousands of older armored personnel carriers still in IDF service.
“For years, the IDF has been examining systems that are able to identify IEDs and landmines with high efficiency,” an Army source told Walla. “The experiences of the Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead, our routine security activity, especially on the Golan Heights, and now Protective Edge, have proven how lethal this threat is and how urgently it must be addressed.”
After testing several systems offered by international manufacturers, the Army decided to reject all of them, and focus instead on a locally-made system which detects mines and explosive devices from a distance, using sensors.
The new system allows the ground forces to avoid harm while providing an accurate infrastructure to destroy the threat. The system passed examination by Army explosives experts, and will be installed in tanks, armored carriers and unmanned vehicles.
Officers at IDF headquarters have told Walla the new Israeli system “can significantly upgrade the maneuverability of ground forces.”
Nabbed Hamas man reveals new Gaza war plans
A Hamas fighter nabbed last month in a joint Shin Bet and police operation has provided a wealth of information on the terror group’s tunnel-digging in the Gaza Strip, its strategy for a future conflict with Israel, and its methods for obtaining cash from Iran, the Shin Bet said on Tuesday.
The capture of Ibraheem Adel Shehadeh Shaer, 21, a resident of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was only cleared for publication on Tuesday.
Shaer, a tunnel digger in the group’s armed wing, was arrested at the beginning of July as he tried to pass though the Erez border crossing from Gaza into Israel.
During questioning by security officials, he disclosed a plethora of details about Hamas activities in Rafah, and in particular Hamas’s emergency procedures, as well as its intention to use tunnels dug under the border to attack Israel in a future fight.
Shaer told investigators that in recent months he worked on some of the tunnels and was shown a passage dug from Rafah that led in the direction of the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Israel, the Shin Bet said in a statement sent to Hebrew-language media.
Hamas has dug ‘several tunnels’ into Israel, in new Iran-funded war drive
A year after a bitter 50-day war, Hamas has again dug numerous attack tunnels from Gaza into Israeli sovereign territory, and is gearing up with major Iranian assistance for another conflict with Israel, a TV report said Tuesday.
The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed that “not a small number” of terror tunnels have been dug by Hamas under the border into Israel, including one in the area of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.
According to the report, Israel has “information” on the tunnels, and has troops “working around the clock” to grapple with the threat. However, Israel “prefers to wait” rather than send troops into the Hamas-held Gaza Strip to tackle the tunnel network there, because it knows that if it does so, it will trigger a new war.
Iran’s assistance in the new Hamas war effort includes cash, military training for Hamas fighters, weaponry, and electronics equipment including for use against Israeli drones, the report said.
Hamas has also been training fighters in the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, and is training recruits to fly paragliders across the border.
Update: Condition of Soldiers from Car Terror Attack
The two soldiers, injured in last week’s terror attack on Road 60, are still hospitalized, according to Hadassah hospital.
One soldier has slightly improved, and he is now listed in moderate to serious condition.
The second soldier is still in serious condition. He remains sedated and on a respirator.
Bedouin Israelis Receive 'Award for Zionism' for IDF Activism
The grassroots Im Tirzu Zionist organization awarded 30 Bedouin Israeli activists a special "Award for Zionism," for the efforts to encourage IDF enlistment among Israel's Bedouin Arab population.
The award was presented at Im Tirzu's annual convention in Jerusalem last week; the theme of this year's conference was "Go, Build a State."
Thousands of activists and supporters from across the country filled the convention hall in the capital's Ammunition Hill, and applauded as Mohammad Ka'abiya and other members of the Bedouin district of the “Acharai!” (After Me!) organization were awarded for their contribution to Israeli society.
Upon receiving the award, Ka’abiya called on Jewish Israelis to support Bedouin integration into society by showing tolerance and encouraging Zionist organizations such as his.
"The Bedouin youth still need one small thing, especially in these days, when hatred is trying to drive a wedge between everyone, regardless of their race and identity," he said. "They need a hug, an embrace much like the one minutes ago on this stage, they need the embrace of the Israeli society, because we can fight together, shoulder to shoulder, against our common enemy, not only on the battlefield, we can also continue the fight when we remove our uniforms and return to our everyday lives."
IDF Reveals Existence of Armored Vehicle Kept Secret for Over 30 Years
A senior IDF source has recently acknowledged the existence of an armored vehicle that has been in operation since the early 1980s, according to an analysis published Thursday in the authoritative Jane’s Defense Weekly. The source described how the IDF refitted an obsolete tank to fire the guided Tamuz missile in 1982.
Known as the Pere (‘Savage’), the resulting vehicle is comparatively well armoured and has the mobility to keep up with the IDF’s armoured divisions. It still has a crew of four: a commander, two gunners, and a driver. Once ordered to fire on certain co-ordinates, the crew launches a Tamuz towards the location, uses the live feed from the camera carried in its nose to identify a target as it approaches and then manually guides the missile towards it.
The manual guidance system restricts each Pere to having only one missile in the air at any given time, although a battalion of vehicles working together could potentially fire volleys at an enemy tank formation.
Notably, the Peres were fitted with dummy barrels to mimic a 105 mm main gun and give the impression they are still tanks. Syrian intelligence would consequently not consider the vehicles an immediate threat if it spotted them behind the front line, when in fact the Peres would have been in a position to bombard an advancing armoured formation with long-range anti-tank missiles.
Palestinian indicted as accessory in fatal June terror attack
A Palestinian man was indicted Monday for his role in the murder of Danny Gonen, an Israeli who was fatally shot in a June terror attack near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Prosecutors charged Osama Asa’ad with manslaughter, arms trafficking, and possession of an illegal weapon, with the indictment maintaining the West Bank resident helped plan the attack and hid the murder weapon in his house afterwards.
Asa’ad, a former Palestinian prisoner who was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal in 2011, was arrested last month along with four other residents of the Qalandiya refugee camp in connection with the attack.
Army Radio reported on Monday that military prosecutors would file indictments against the remaining suspects in the coming days.
17 Year-Old Caught on Her Way to Stab Prison Guard
A 17 year-old Palestinian Arab woman from Bethlehem was caught on Monday night with a knife in her bag at the Yatir security checkpoint.
The young woman claimed to investigators that she had forgotten that she had placed her vegetable knife in her purse from earlier that day.
The woman was transferred to Hevron for questioning and interrogation, where she then admitted that she was going to stab a guard at the Eshel prison, where her brother is serving a terrorism sentence.
The suspect is now in police custody.
Hamas Spokesman Gloats Over Israeli Captives
Regarding Israeli civilian captives - a yet-unnamed Israeli Arab and mentally ill 28 year-old Avraham Mengistu - Marzuk stuck to the Hamas claim that both were "soldiers" who deliberately crossed into Gaza.
“The issue came out to the media to be a scandal that highlighted the discrimination and racism in Israel, and the issue is still developing," he gloated.
The Hamas website indicated that Marzuk is seeking more terrorist releases due to Israel's "disrespect of the first swap deal," but does not elaborate on what that was. It may refer to reports that the group deliberately tricked Israel earlier this year, by claiming the Ethiopian-Israeli Mengistu was waiting in Gaza for a one-to-one swap - and sending an illegal Eritrean migrant through the border instead.
Marzuk concluded by addressing Hamas's relations with the EU, which has reportedly been clandestinely involved in ceasefire talks.
“The problem with the European Union is related to governments, not to the people," he cryptically stated. "Our efforts continue in both directions, with those who support the Palestinian Cause or at least stand neutral, in order to stop providing Israeli occupation with money, weapons and political protection.”
Jordan to erect barrier on Iraq-Syria border to stop IS
Jordan is digging trenches and raising dirt barriers on its northern and eastern borders with war-ravaged Iraq and Syria to stop fighters from nearby jihadist groups infiltrating into its territory, a top Jordanian general said Tuesday.
The embankments are intended to prevent the entry of Islamic State fighters. Some barriers have already been erected, border guards commander Saber al-Mahayra told government-owned Jordanian daily Al Ra’i.
The measure is part of Amman’s multi-pronged approach to combating the ruthless terror group, which seized a downed Jordanian fighter pilot and burned him to death in a cage in January. At the time, King Abdullah II pledged to step up the fight against IS, which released a gruesome video of the killing that shocked Jordanians.
Abdullah said Jordan’s response “will be harsh because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values.” Soon after the king made his remarks, Jordanian warplanes launched dozens of strikes against Islamic State positions.
Jordan shares a porous 350-kilometer border with Syria and a 175-kilometer border with Iraq — both situated in largely arid, desert terrain.
PreOccupied Territory: Palestinians Praised For Recycling Bottles As Molotov Cocktails (Satire)
A leading environmental organization lauded Palestinian groups today for promoting ecologically sensitive policies by repurposing used bottles to be used as homemade firebombs aimed at Israelis.
Greenpeace International awarded Hamas and Fatah youths hurling Molotov cocktails a citation for grassroots achievement, specifically praising the terrorist organizations’ success in instilling in the next generation the importance of reusing bottles as bombs instead of purchasing new ones. In so doing, said Greenpeace, those resistance organizations embody the values of sustainability and commitment to education that give the environmental movement hope.
The Greenpeace Recycling Excellence Note for Achievements in Didactic Efforts (GRENADE) is awarded annually to individuals or groups that demonstrate dedication to implementing solutions in public policy for the reduction of greenhouse gases, waste, and other forms of pollution. “By facilitating the use of bottles that have already been used for beverages, cleaning products, or other consumer liquids, Hamas and Fatah leaders help stress that it is preferable to repurpose existing resources than to manufacture or acquire entirely new products,” the citation read. “The manufacture of new bottles entails greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacture and transportation of both the ingredients and the finished product, and these organizations’ promotion of grassroots, homemade firebombs represents a key factor in human society’s ability and will to seek sustainable, safe, economical, and environmentally sound policies.”
Analysis: Germans are using Holocaust street memorials to bash Israel
There is an increasing tendency among Germans devoted to commemorating the Holocaust to turn Jewish victims into a whipping boy to criticize Israelis and advance the Palestinian cause.
The ongoing debate in Munich over whether the Bavarian capital should allow “Stolpersteine” (brass plaques which name the Holocaust victims) to be embedded into sidewalks and street is a salient example of this. In late July, the Munich city council voted to ban the so-called “stumbling block” memorials. Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and current head of the Munich Jewish community, has long opposed the Stolpersteine and has called it an insult to the victims. Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor, said it is “intolerable” for passers-by to step on the names of Jews that were murdered in the tragedy.
There are six “stumbling blocks” outside the residence of this reporter in Berlin. One of them reads: “Hans Simson. Date of birth: 1913. Deported on 28.6. 1943. Murdered in Auschwitz.”
The left-wing weekly Jungle World, widely considered to a be a pro-Israel weekly, reported in a commentary by Dora Streibl that a co-founder of the “stumbling blocks” memorial in the city of Kassel, Ulrich Restat, declared at an anti-Semitic demonstration in 2014 that “death is a master today from Israel” and that he wished that there would be “stumbling blocks” for the murdered Palestinians. The commentary also noted the anti-Zionist sentiments of the co-founders of the Munich “Stolpersteine” initiative.
Retast’s reference was an allusion to the famous Holocaust poem from the Jewish poet Paul Celan, a German-speaking Holocaust survivor, who wrote about the Hitler movement: “Death is a master from Germany” In her commentary, Streibl criticized Restat and others who use the Stolpersteine as a form of alleviating their pathological guilt about the crimes of the Holocaust by turning modern day Jews into perpetrators. She added that: “the Stolpersteine appear as a comfortable, discreet form of remembrance: One did something.”
Arrest Netanyahu for war crimes, British petitioners demand
Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters have signed an online petition demanding that Scotland Yard arrest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes once he steps foot on British soil this coming September.
The petition was created through the British parliament website. It mandates that British lawmakers debate a motion if a petition reaches 100,000 online signatures [currently 35,000].
"Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September," the petition's author, a British national who goes by the name of Damian Moran, wrote. "Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014."
Last year, Israel and Hamas fought a 50-day war during which 2,000 Gazans, many of them civilians, were killed by Israeli bombardment.
Since Netanyahu is a sitting prime minister with diplomatic immunity, there is no chance he will be arrested under universal jurisdiction laws.
Huffington Post causes outrage after Arabic edition criticises gay people, atheists and selfies
The Huffington Post has caused outrage among those readers who considered it a liberal left website by launching an Arabic edition which has promptly criticised gays, atheists and the practice of taking selfies.
Days after going live, the site has already published a series of vitriolic outbursts including a piece by an Egyptian contributor on Saturday complaining that atheists were being allowed on Egyptian television and that the Government permitted “a press conference for gays in the heart of Cairo”.
In another article for the site, an Algerian columnist, authored what was intended as “an open letter to all the Islamic Ummah’s youth”, condemned the selfie as symptom of “the diseases and the viruses of the Western world”.
The blog, the author claimed, was designed as “call to stop adopting such sick behaviours that come to destroy our traditions and the basics of human cultural identity.”
In an interview last month, the website’s founder, Arianna Huffington, 65, had promised that Huffington Post Arabi would endorse the values of other editions of the news and blog site. The Cambridge-educated Huffington, who sold her site to Internet giant AOL for $315m in 2011 and reportedly pocketed $21m from the deal.
Report: Man in Dubai lets daughter drown to preserve her 'honor'
After being taken into custody, the man said that he would rather let his daughter die than be touched by a "strange man," according to Deputy Director of Dubai's Police Search and Rescue Department Lt. Col. Ahmed Burqibah.
“This is one of the incidents which I cannot forget,” Burqibah said. “It shocked me and many others who were involved in the case. The... father took his wife and kids to the beach for picnic and fun."
“The kids were swimming in the beach when suddenly the 20-year-old girl started drowning and screaming for help. Two rescue men were at the beach, and they rushed to help the girl. However, there was one obstacle which prevented them from reaching the girl and helping her."
“This obstacle was the [father] who said that if these men touched his daughter, then this would dishonor her. It cost him the life of his daughter.”
According to Burqibah, the father was "tall and strong" enough to prevent lifeguards from performing their duty, going so far as to physically constrain them with violence.
“He told them that he prefers his daughter being dead than being touched by a strange man,” Burqibah added.
The father was later arrested for having blocked rescue teams from saving his daughter's life, Emirates 24/7added. (h/t 1Biodegradable1)
Israel and Japan Are Finally Becoming Friends. Why?
Walk down a side street in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol and you may came across a group of students chatting loudly in Hebrew as they review their Bible lessons of the day. Hardly an extraordinary sight in Israel—except that these aren’t Israelis. They’re young Japanese on student visas who have assumed hybrid names like Asher Sieto Kimura and Suzana Keiren Mimosa. And they’re Makuyas: members of a Japanese religious group that’s been fervently supportive of Israel since 1948.
The movement’s founder—“Makuya” is Japanese for ohel moed, the biblical tent of meeting or tabernacle—was Ikuro Teshima, a Christian businessman who adopted the name Abraham in the belief that the birth of Israel marked the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. His dream, finally realized in the 1960s, was to send groups of young Japanese to Israel, there to study Hebrew and Jewish thought and to volunteer in hospitals, schools, and senior centers. Since then, over 1,000 Makuyas have attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Haifa, the Technion, and other institutions of higher learning. In Japan itself, the Makuya newsletter reaches more than 300,000 subscribers.
Makuya aside, it is true, love of Israel used to be an anomaly in Japan. But it is much less of one now. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first Japanese premier in almost a decade to visit the Jewish state, represents a political establishment that has undergone a significant shift in perception, to the point where a country once kept at arm’s length by Tokyo is now increasingly seen to merit a friendly and indeed a deferential bow. And the feeling is warmly reciprocated.
How significant is this? When one thinks of Israel’s relations with Asia, two countries may come to mind before Japan. First, India: a fellow democracy with which Israel’s trade ties have been fairly constant over recent decades and diplomatic relations, always cool, have been notably warming under the current premiership of Narendra Modi. Second, China: a country with which Israel’s trade ties are likewise substantial and growing— jumping from $51 million in 1992 to more than $11 billion in 2014—even as on the international scene China not only sides vocally with some of Israel’s and the West’s deadliest enemies but also remains a largely closed society within and militarily belligerent without.
This is all the more reason to focus on the largely neglected story of Israel and Japan: another democracy, another American ally, and, with India, another Asian nation directly threatened by Chinese aggression and expansionism.
Knesset kicks off celebrations for the iconic building's 50th birthday
The 50th year since the current Knesset building was constructed begins on August 30, and the Knesset has a long series of events planned to mark the event, which guests from around the world are expected to attend.
“The 50 years that passed in the current Knesset building include exciting, surprising and sometimes painful historic moments that belong to all Israelis,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said. “More than ever, the values of democracy that the Knesset represents are significant to Israeli society.”
Edelstein added that democracy will be the theme of the celebrations and said he is certain the events will bring positive attention to the Knesset and its importance to the Israeli public.
The Knesset’s building was dedicated on August 30, 1966 at a ceremony with 6,000 attendees, including the heads of 44 parliaments and emissaries from 47 Jewish communities.
WATCH: Weizmann is inaugurated as president
In this newsreel from February 1949, a military escort accompanies Chaim Weizmann into Jerusalem after his declaration as president on the 17th.
Bystanders smile from windows and soldiers line the streets as Weizmann enters the Jewish Agency building for the inauguration ceremony and is sworn into office.
“Dr. Weizmann, who was accompanied by his wife,” the narrator reports, “was welcomed by the mayor at the city boundary and proceeded to cut the tape across the street.
“This was the symbol of his official entry into Jerusalem.”

Israeli scientist claims breakthrough in HIV research
A researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found similarities between leukemia and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Ran Taube of the department of microbiology, immunology and genetics at the Beersheba university maintains that his team’s discovery will lead to a “revolutionary diagnosis and the key to the clinical solution that will prevent infection with HIV and will destroy the deadly virus.
Working in collaboration with Dr. Uri Rubio of Soroka University Medical Center, Taube found similarities between the two diseases. This study aims to eradicate AIDS and hinder the development of leukemia.
Until the research was carried out, medical researchers had only limited information on the existence of a connection between AIDS and a rare blood cancer called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) that hinders the development of cells in the blood system and occurs mostly in children.
Even though AIDS has become a chronic disease that can be treated with anti-retroviral therapy medications, there has been no treatment that can prevent the spread of the HIV virus, and the number of individuals who are infected rises every year, said Taube. The reasons for this are varied, and some derive from the fact that no vaccine has been developed against the virus to prevent future infection.
Anti-retrovirals that are currently administered do not prevent infection, so their efficacy is limited, Taube said.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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